On April 25-27, 2014, the Virginia Canals & Navigations Society is holding its annual meeting in Lexington, and this year’s meeting includes water-based and land-based expeditions to explore the Maury River. The Maury is an approximately 30-mile-long James River tributary that begins at the confluence of the Calfpasture and Little Calfpasture rivers at Goshen Pass in Rockbridge County. The river flows just north of Lexington on the way to its confluence with the James at Balcony Falls, where Rockbridge County, Amherst County, and Bedford County meet. The Society previously explored the Maury in 1979 and in the early 1990s.
The Society is inviting the public to join in the guided-raft exploration on the river and the hiking exploration on the Chessie Nature Trail, which starts in Lexington and follows the historic Maury canal’s tow-path. Other events include a tour of the flood wall in the City of Buena Vista, study of the remains of locks and dams on the historic canal, and a trip to Balcony Falls. For information about participating, contact Phillip de Vos at firstname.lastname@example.org or (434) 299-5249.
More information about the Virginia Canals & Navigations Society is available online at http://www.vacanals.org/. One of the group’s main annual events is the James River Batteau Festival in June, in which crews travel from Lynchburg down the James on replicas of the batteau, the historic, human-propelled cargo boat used on the James and other waterways. For an audio sample of the launch of the batteau in 2013, have a listen to Virginia Water Radio Episode 166, “James River Blues by Old Crow Medicine Show, and the James River Batteau Festival,” (5 min./47 sec.).
Source: Maury River raft tours offered this weekend, Roanoke Times, 4/24/14.